Living longer…Retiring well: 5 Tips For Finding Your Spirit in Retirement.
Retiring well is much more than having enough money in the bank. You must know how you want to spend your money and to do that, it is important to know what you want in your life, what activities and people enrich you in your life, and how to stay healthy as you move into, and through, retirement. Staying healthy is a physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual undertaking and requires knowledge, practice, and commitment to achieve.
Tip #1: Let’s Get Physical!
The importance of physical health in improving the quality of your life is something that is stressed throughout life, but becomes more obviously important during the aging process. The closer to retirement age you are, the more you can see the results of how you have treated your body over the course of your life. Also becoming more apparent are genetic issues which may have been masked when you were younger, but which surface as you age. All these factors need to be addressed and health concerns dealt with to fully enjoy the retirement years with as little discomfort and as much mobility and freedom as possible. As we all know, nutrition, exercise, regular doctor’s check-ups, and generally staying active are all important components of physical health.
Tip #2: What do you mean you’re not happy!
Whatever emotional problems you have had during the course of your life tend to continue into the retirement years. If you have not learned to manage your emotions and have generally let them run amuck, they will continue to cause difficulties for you, especially if your life changes as you approach retirement age, lose friends and relatives, change daily schedules upon leaving the work force, and find the need to search for motivation to move forward in your life. If depression has been an issue in early years, it often follows you into retirement. If you have had difficulty finding the key to that illusive thing called happiness, chances are you will not magically find it in retirement, even though many of us think retirement may be the panacea that will solve many of our problems! If emotional issues can be addressed before this period of your life, it makes the transition to retirement much easier and smoother.
Tip #3: Just Think About It!
Keeping your mind active is essential to good health as you age. Studies have repeatedly shown that those who stay intellectually active have fuller, richer brain activity and feel a greater level of satisfaction and health in their lives as they age. Exercising your brain includes practicing to maintain memory, actively seeking ways to problem-solve situations in daily life, conversing regularly with others, and thinking in new and creative ways on a regular basis. Repetitive thinking tends to dull the mind…and makes you less interesting to be around!
Tip #4: “Getting To Know You!”
Speaking of being interesting to be around… Human beings are social animals and do better in relationships with others. Those who have few friends and few social connections tend to be more depressed, generally speaking, less involved in life, and ultimately less interesting to be around. Energy and feedback are gotten in interacting with others. Ideas, and concepts of life can be bounce off of each other.
We get a sense of how we are functioning in relation to others, and can practice social skills that also provide feedback as we interact with others. All this leads to better overall health as we age, and helps prevent isolation, loneliness, and inactivity in later years.
Tip #5: “The Force Be With You!” Or…Finding the Spirit of Life
The concept of “spirit” is fraught with misunderstanding and misconception. Most of us agree there is probably some type of “force” that is bigger than we are, that is out of our control, and that dictates our lives in some way. Other than that, we are stumped, and must rely on faith and conjecture in our attempts to understand the whole thing. We like to believe there is more to the whole picture than, “we live, we die”, and the older we get the more we tend to wrestle with fear and ignorance around what might come “after…” Coming to terms with this, if not entirely understanding it, helps us find more serenity and joy as we age.